I was pleased to see that Informatica has launched Informatica Cloud Express, complete with usage-based pricing. Cloud Express provides salesforce.com administrators and operations staff the option to schedule and automate bi-directional cloud-to-on-premise integration tasks without coding and without requiring a hardware footprint.
The value of this is pretty straightforward. Data integration has traditionally been something that’s very complex and costly. Most spend hundreds of thousands on solutions that become more costly after implementation than during development. The issues are around the path to good data integration, and the technology required to get you there.
Cloud-based integration, such as Cloud Express, provides the ability to access the integration services you need on-demand. Moreover, it also provides you with the ability to pay for only the services you need. This is a wonderful model considering that, while some enterprises do gigs a day in information flowing between on-premise and cloud-based systems, many operate with a much lighter data integration load. In the past, neither customer had the pay-as-you-go option.
The reality is that many avoided data integration altogether, considering it far too expensive, complex, and thus risky. The end results were core business problems left unsolved, such as syncing customer data between salesforce.com and Inventory control systems, requiring manual intervention that typically lead to data quality issues.
Moreover, this also provides enterprises with the core value of agility. Or, the ability to alter their data integration solution, such as expansion, and adjust the spending up or down. There is no need for waves of hardware and software purchases. The resources are cloud-based, and pay-as-you-go.
The use of clouds, either IaaS, SaaS, or PaaS, is not just a short term trend, it’s the way that much of the business processing will be completed going forward. The migration from enterprise-to-cloud will be more of an evolution than a revolution, but figure that 3-5 percent of the existing processing that occurs on-premise will find its way into the clouds each year. While I don’t believe that we’ll ever be at a point where most of the information processing occurs outside of the firewall, a good deal of our transactional data will be there in 3 to 4 years. It’s just a matter of effectiveness and efficiency, and oh yeah, the ability to pay for just what you need.
The trend will be for more traditional enterprise software providers to move to a pay-as-you-go model, as well as support the cloud, either as a deployment platform or something they interact with. The ability to provide data integration as-a-service using the utility model is a huge step forward toward allowing enterprises to thrive using the clouds, and in the clouds.